Archive for the 'Transcription' Category

Progress update, 21 December 2013 to 10 January 2014

By Tim Causer, on 10 January 2014

Firstly, happy new year from all of us Transcribe Bentham, and we hope that all volunteers and readers had an enjoyable festive period. Since our last update, excellent progress has been made: 18,249 words have been transcribed during the past two weeks, along with a further 8,026 words of TEI XML.

6,760 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 114 upon the total on 20 December. Of these transcripts, 6,463 (95%) are complete after going through our quality control process, which is up 103 on two weeks ago. We anticipate that the 7,000th transcript will be worked on at some point during March, which would be a fantastic achievement on behalf of TB volunteers.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Thank you, as always, to everyone who contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last couple of weeks. It remains greatly appreciated by us all, particularly as we know how busy the festive period can be.

Progress update, 14 to 20 December 2013, and UCL closure

By Tim Causer, on 20 December 2013

Welcome along to the progress update for 14 to 20 December 2013, which is also our 200th post on the blog! Excellent progress has been made during the last seven days: 11,603 words of text have been transcribed, along with a further 4,740 words of TEI XML.

6,646 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 46 on this time last week. Of these transcripts, 6,357 (95%) are complete and locked after having been checked by Transcribe Bentham staff.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Over the last few months, we have added more and more new material to the Transcription Desk for transcription. These unpublished manuscripts include material relating to the final failure of Bentham’s panopticon penitentiary scheme and evidence of the scale of his bitterness towards the British government; Bentham’s work in drafting the 1798 Thames Police Bill; more of his writings on political economy; his plan to ‘euthanise’ the Church of England; and, most recently, more detail relating to the panopticon, including architect Willey Reveley’s sketches of the proposed prison. All of these manuscripts can be accessed via our ‘Untranscribed Manuscripts‘ list, which are divided into the boxes comprising the UCL Bentham Papers. From this page, you can also access a fuller description of the contents of each box.

Today’s progress update will be the last full update until the new year, as today UCL closes for the Christmas and new year break. As regular readers will know, Bentham regarded such holidays as ‘useless holy days’ which could be spent more productively working, though we take a slightly softer line than the big man. From 20 December 2013 until 6 January 2014, we will be on leave, which means that we will be unable to check submitted transcripts during this period. The Transcription Desk will, however, remain available at all times, though it will take longer than usual for us to answer any email queries. Normal service will resume on Monday 6 January, and we apologise in advance for any inconvenience which our absence may cause.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last twelve months, which is greatly appreciated by all of us working on the project. We wish you the best for the holiday period, and look forward to another year of transcription!

 

 

New material to transcribe: panopticon

By Tim Causer, on 18 December 2013

UC 119, f. 120: plan of the panopticon prison

UC 119, f. 120: plan of the panopticon prison.
Courtesy UCL Special Collections, image captured by UCL Creative Media Services.

It’s just under a week before Santa comes to visit, but we are delighted to be able to provide transcribers and readers with an early Christmas gift. Two further batches of digitised Bentham manuscripts have been uploaded to the Transcription Desk, both of which pertain to Bentham’s unrealised panopticon penitentiary scheme, which so dominated his life for a number of years.

Box 117 is largely comprised of collectanea, including correspondence, a drawing of the ‘sawing machine’ designed by Bentham’s younger brother, Samuel, and Bentham’s account of his frustrating attempts to purchase the Millbank estate from the Marquis of Salisbury. It also includes Bentham’s letters to George Holford MP, the anti-Benthamite chair of the 1811 Penitentiary Committee, which gave a damning indictment of the panopticon scheme in its report.

Box 119 contains a number of interesting items about the details of the panopticon, including how the prisoners would be employed, how the panopticon would be run by contract management,and how the prison itself would be centrally heated (these manuscripts contain a few rudimentary diagrams of the heating system composed by Bentham). Bentham addresses objections which he expected to be made against the panopticon, and the bulk of the box is comprised of Bentham’s draft penitentiary bill.

Box 119 also contains several drawings and sketches of the panopticon drawn by the architect Willey Reveley, who was commissioned by Bentham to produce the plans based on his designs. A few of these are currently missing, as the manuscripts are on loan to a gallery in Italy, but will be digitised upon their return. A notable sketch is the one below, drawn up by Bentham, in which he reproduces Psalm 139; Bentham was not a believer, but the panopticon intended, to all intents and purposes, to give the prison inspector all the power of a god within the penitentiary.

We hope that you enjoy exploring this material! With our thanks, as always, to our colleagues at UCL Creative Media Services and the University of London Computer Centre, for respectively capturing and uploading the images. Do contact us if you have any questions.

UC 119, f.124. Courtesy of UCL Special Collections, image captured by UCL Creative Media Services. 'Thou art about my path, and about my bed: and spiest all my ways. If I say, peradventure the darkness shall cover me: than shall my night be turned to day. Even there also shall thy hand lead me: and thy right hand shall hold me'. (Psalm 139)

UC 119, f.124. Courtesy of UCL Special Collections, image captured by UCL Creative Media Services.
‘Thou art about my path, and about my bed: and spiest all my ways. If I say, peradventure the darkness shall cover me: than shall my night be turned to day. Even there also shall thy hand lead me: and thy right hand shall hold me’.
(Psalm 139)

 

Progress update, 30 November to 6 December 2013

By Tim Causer, on 6 December 2013

Welcome along to the progress update for 30 November to 6 December 2013, during which time further excellent progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers. This week, 12,352 words of text have been transcribed, along with an additional 3,863 words of TEI XML.

6,567 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially-transcribed, which is an increase of 43 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 6,290 (95%) have been locked after going through our quality-control process, up 31 on this time last week.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

Amongst the interesting things transcribed this week are Bentham on experimentation with vacuums (thanks to Keith Thompson for transcribing), and Bentham’s apparent business proposal to Logan Henderson to produce ‘ethereal matches’ (thanks to Jan Copes).

Thank you, as always, to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. Your work is as greatly appreciated as ever.

Progress update, 23 to 29 November 2013 and more material to transcribe

By Tim Causer, on 29 November 2013

Welcome to the progress update for the period 23 to 29 November 2013, during which time further steady progress has been made by Transcribe Bentham volunteers. This week, 8,087 words of Bentham text have been transcribed, along with a further 3,678 words of TEI XML.

6,524 manuscripts have now been transcribed or partially transcribed, which is an increase of 24 on last week’s total. Of these transcripts, 6,259 (95%) have been locked, which is 61 up on last week’s total.

The more detailed state of progress is as follows:

We are delighted to say that a further 1,500 manuscript images have been uploaded to transcribe (and thanks to our colleagues at the University of London Computer Centre for getting them up). Manuscripts from Box 15 mostly pertain to Bentham’s work on Deontology. In this work, Bentham analysed what, according to the principle of utility, constituted virtue and vice, and how they operated in the relationship between interest and duty, and gave examples of how the individual could promote their own happiness while increasing (or at least refraining from reducing) that of others.Bentham did not publish this work during his lifetime, but it exists in manuscript. A version of the text, edited and prepared by John Bowring, was published in 1834, but this is essentially a paraphrasing of Bentham’s text with additions by Bowring, rather than being how Bentham genuinely envisaged the text. Folios 323 to 592 from this box of material are in Bowring’s hand, and are from his version of the text. A new version of ”Deontology”, based upon Bentham’s manuscripts, was published in 1983 as part of the ”Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham”, edited by Amnon Goldworth.

The remainder of this box of material relates to ‘political deontology’, which is distinct from the ‘private deontology’ discussed above. Bentham wrote manuscripts on political deontology largely in 1816 and 1817, but also in later years up until his death. This work appears to have been unfinished, and has not been published.

Manuscripts from Box 169 are a miscellany, containing correspondence, fragments of works, and other collectanea. They include correspondence with one Logan Henderson about ‘Ethereal Matches’, letters to French revolutionary leaders, experimentation with vacuums, letters to European monarchs in which Bentham offered to draw up constitutional codes, and bookbinding instructions. A full list of untranscribed material is also available to consult.

Thank you, as always to everyone who has contributed to Transcribe Bentham during the last seven days. It is greatly appreciated by us all.